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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  January 7, 2010 12:00am-1:00am EST

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it is jarring. you know, they reach out to facebook and twitter. they're trying to reach the younger generation. and i think the impact of this could be really huge. >> you think that it's a tradeoff in trying to reach older african-americans. it may turn younger african-americans off so bad it won't return the form. >> this is not a word that my generation is used to seeing in an official document. this brings back the memories of whites and negro only water fountains. so, you know, i think a lot people, my generation will say what are they getting at here? where are they trying to go? >> the mission is to report and discuss news most pertinent among african-americans. when you ran the story, what did you see in terms of reaction from your readers? >> there was mixed. there were people that were shocked. you have to remember, there are people that are actually older who, you know, still has the term negro on their birth
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certificate. so there's a generational divide. i think there is more of a benefit to excluding the term. i think the census bureau really has to answer and get out in front of this to explain to people before, you know, the census worker knocks on the door that this word is on there and why they decide to leave it on there. >> when you look at the census historically, some of the words, they used to use molato. there's been evolution in this. are you expecting 2020 we'll still be -- we talk about people still having it on their birth certificates now. in 2020, what do you expect the evolution to have been by then? >> i hope it's off. you have to remember, my generation this is the first time that we're actually participating in the census. so, you know, i hope that in 2020 that this word is completely, you know, saved for the history books and not census forms. >> it will be a different controversy. hopefully not the same one. david wilson, thank you.
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great to see you. >> that does it for us tonight. we'll see you tomorrow night. until then, e-mail us. we do actually read our e-mail. our podcast is at itunes. "hardball" is next. good night. > dodd, dorgan and ritter. three men out. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington leading off tonight. no country for old men. politics has become one tough business these days especially for those who have to defend the way things are in this country. in just the past 24 hours three top democrats have decided to quit the business and not run for re-election. senator chris dodd in connecticut, senator byron dorgan in north dakota and governor bill ritter in colorado. while democrats can argue that
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dodd's quitting improves chances in connecticut, no amount of spin can wash away the obvious conclusion. these democrats have looked at the electoral landscape and would prefer to retire than lose. the implications are human. we'll get to them at the top of the show. republicans are shocked that president obama opted for a criminal trial in federal court for the christmas day bomber even though that is exactly what the bush administration did with the so-called shoe bomber richard reed. where does the hypocrisy end? what is going on with u.s. intelligence? twice in the last few weeks intelligence lapses have led to the disaster, the killing of seven cia employees in afghanistan or near disaster, that christmas plane bomber. how could this happen? we'll try to get some answers. back to politics. the biggest story surrounding democratic retirements may be their effect on president obama. they create a perception of the obama party being weak at a time party loyalty is a key to
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getting through the health care bill. remember this? elvis wasn't named a federal drug agent as he had hoped but this iconic photo has obtained a singular distinction. dick nixon and elvis. a keeper. we begin with the three big democrats who won't run for re-election, dodd, dorgan and ritter. democratic steve mcmahon and republican todd harris. todd you are giggling like the named a federal drug agent but easter bunny. what are you so happy about. your teeth are so white i'm appalled. >> what is going on. >> it must be the florida sunshine on the teeth. i tell you what is going on. here in florida where i am now the quintessential swing state barack obama has a 48% approval rating, 46% disapproval rating. nationally he started with a three to one approval.
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he is now almost even. that is the fastest drop in terms of presidential approval of any president in recent memory. you couple that with the 20% approval rating that congress has and that makes for a very, very difficult political environment for incumbents to run for re-election. the public is mad as hell and don't want to take it anymore, largely around spending. trillion dollar deficit, health care plan, bank bailouts, auto bailouts. this is not a political environment where incumbents want to put their name on the ballot. >> that shatters everything i know about politics. the public, before you get in this steve, care about their own condition, the symptoms of their lives, how hard it is to get a loan or get a job or hold on to a job. that is how people think. they don't think about these big numbers on the board until things are bad for them.
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when they are bad for them they start pointing at these things. here is the president's press secretary reacting to the news you just destroyed going after in a partisan way which is fair enough. that is why you are here. here is gibbs going the other way. >> it is hard to look into the crystal ball 11 mont from election day. there are retirements on both sides of the aisle in the senate. it will be the same in the house. we'll let the political season play out over the course of the next 11 months. i don't want to make a lot of predictions for 11 months from now. >> steve mcmahon, before you get going, i will interrupt you again. the numbers he alluded to. in the house of representatives 15 republicans are quitting, 12 democrats. you can see those numbers in red on the house side. on the senate side in black now. six republicans we new were quitting. now we know dodd and dorgan.
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why are they quitting and how can you take that as anything than a loss for the democrats because these guys are big shots. >> it is a loss because these guys are big shots. you are right. voters make adjustments on what is happening in their life. you can see wall street recovering and economic indicators that the economy is picking up. in main street america people feel like their lives are not on the right track. the 401(k)s are worth 30% and 40% less than they were. they don't know what their kids' futures are like. the incumbents are not getting it done. this is not a democratic problem. it is incumbent. >> let's take a look at dodd. here he is, surprised me when i read the paper this morning. here is chris dodd explaining his departure from the big time. >> over the past 12 months i have managed four major pieces of legislation through the united states congress, served as chair and acting chair of two
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major senate committees placing me at the center of the two most important issues of our time, health care and reform of financial services. i lost a beloved sister in july and in august ted kennedy. i battled cancer over the summer and in the midst of all of this, found myself in the toughest political shape of my career. >> you know, todd harris, it is a weird, strange world when a guy like chris dodd has to leave politics because of poll numbers and someone on your side of the aisle named david vitter who got caught with prostitutes, sex workers in washington and in his home state of louisiana and he's headed towards re-election. explain the thinking of the voters? could it be they vote on symptoms and are more angry about what is affecting them personally rather than what politicians are up to in their hanky panky world. >> i'm not from louisiana. >> explain his survival. >> he hasn't survived. >> he is headed toward it. >> he has a better connection despite anything happened in his past to the people of louisiana
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than chris dodd after four or five terms has with the people of connecticut there is no other way to explain it. >> there is a connection with the people. professional sex workers. is that how you connect with people these days somebody love me, please. >> the most reliable predictor of outcomes in elections is voting performance in the state. you can look at north dakota and see a state that is a very, very red state and understand byron dorgan. connecticut is a very blue state. i think senator dodd, he has done everything he can for the people of connecticut for 30 years. he lost his best friend in the senate. he lost his sister, gone through cancer treatment. he knows it is an uphill campaign and wondering, don't i have better things to do with my life.
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that is the tragedy here that people like chris dodd are choosing to walk away because they don't think that serving or fighting a tough campaign is more important or more worthy than going off and living a nice retirement. we are losing great people because this environment, frankly, todd, the bush administration left such a mess. can we just say it. >> you can do the republican part, todd. you have to tell people when you visit them at home in your senate seat or house district, look you have been paying me $180,000 a year for 20 years and here are the results. 10% unemployment, stock market with ch is wobbly. a national debt which has tripled. everything seems scary and zany. a trade deficit horrendous. nothing seems to be working at the federal government level. katrina was a disaster. we can't seem to stop the terrorists from getting on our planes. what do you brag about when you go home if you are a politician and say look what i did for you? what do you brag about if you are a republican?
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what has the republican party done for anybody in the last ten or 15 years for the people? >> well, chris, as you well know, voters don't decide elections -- >> i'm asking you a question what has the republican party done for the people in the last ten or 20 years. >> i'm answering you how you would win an election in 2010. >> what do you tell people if you have done for them if you are a republican? you have a president who signed every single spending bill when the republicans were in power, katrina a disaster, iraq which most people think was dishonest, an afghan war that won't end. we haven't been hit since 9/11 but 9/11 does count. what would you brag about? >> well, first of all, the bush administration kept the country safe. i want to say --
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>> except that one big day. >> there was one day. >> hold on a minute. part of the problem that democrats have is they are so obsessed with continuing to attack the bush administration you guys are so obsessed with trying to get your pound of flesh you are ignoring the real concerns voters have in 2010. i hope to god that people on the left continue to try to go after president bush and his record for the next 121 mont because republicans are going to be talking about being a real check and balance on the runaway spending that is going on in washington right now. >> when did that start? >> there is no balance, todd. there is just a check. saying no. no thanks, not right now. not so fast. >> saying no to a trillion dollar health care -- >> todd that is not a program for success. this isn't a democratic problem. this is an incumbent problem. the fact you are sitting in florida today on marco rubio's campaign which you are doing a great job on demonstrates a point, charlie crist was unbeatable and now he has inincumbent itis.
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he is a republican not a democrat. it is an incumbent problem, tell me that is not true, todd, marco rubio's consultant. >> you are right. the reason charlie crist is having problems. >> he is the governor of nar and perceived as the worst you can be is a moderate. >> the reason he is having problems is he is not able to sacredably to republicans that he could go to washington and be a check and balance on the obama administration. marco rubio could make a credible argument for voters -- >> based on? >> his core beliefs. when charlie crist stood next to barack obama and embraced literally and figuratively the stimulus package that was a signal to florida republicans he is not someone who is going to go and take on nancy pelosi, take on harry reid. >> no, todd, that was a signal to moderate republicans in florida that he cared more about his state than saying no, no
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thanks, not right now. that is the problem republicans have right now. >> i just want to get the republican bragging points. so the republican party kept us safe except for 9/11. is that the argument? no, really. you had the worst attack on american homeland but bragging about defending the country. you defended america except for 9/11. that is your defense, right? that is the bragging point of the republican party. i asked you to name one thing they've done for this country 15 and 20 years. you are having a hard time giving me an answer. >> no. no. i'm not having a hard time giving you an answer. >> squandered the surplus. >> when i decide to write a book about the history of the last 20 years of the history of the republican party.
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my job is to win elections in 2010. >> just give me one. >> i'm going to keep my eye on the ball. >> steve mcmahon, youtube is watching. tell me what the republican party has done for this country in the last ten to 20 years thank you. plenty of time. we'll have you back with the answer. coming up tonight at 6:00, where did dick cheney and other critics get off attacking president obama for trying terror suspects in federal court in new york when that is what bush did with the shoe bomber. it is unpatriotic, what, to do what they do? when is the bark going to come off this tree? you are watching "hardball" only on msnbc. but more people prefer this sauce. winner of the blind taste test. the sweet and savory taste of prego. it's in there.
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how did the cia and fbi miss that would-be bomber who tried to take down that jet over detroit and fall victim to an al qaeda double agent in the deadly suicide attack in afghanistan? why american intelligence is under pressure like never before and what can be done about it?
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welcome back to "hardball." is republican criticism on president obama fighting terrorism a little hypocritical. here is rnc chairman michael steele last night on "hardball." is the rest side, we have to have military tribunals on the wrong side criminal cases? >> to a large extent it is. at the end of the day you have to call it what it is. who are you dealing with? who are the jury of khalid mohammad's peers what american, what new york citizen is his peer who can sit in judgment. >> so that is the wrong side of this issue. >> the reason it is -- >> your president, our president at the time george w. bush tried the shoe bomber in criminal court in the united states. you said it was the wrong way to go. why did your president and our president at the time do it?
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>> again, i wasn't in that meeting. >> i have tricked you. i have let you give a policy position which i have now explained to you ran contrary to what the republican president did. you are laughing. but you just took a principle position and said it is wrong to have a criminal trial. for more on the republican hypocrisy, david korn and ron christy a former adviser to dick cheney. i think i caught him in a contradiction. is it better for this country to try these countries as warriors or criminals. he says as a matter of principle warriors. why did we try the shoe bomber as a criminal? >> he made a mistake. the shoe bomber incident took place in december, 2001. he was originally charged with obstructing a flight crew operation.
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congress and the bush administration recognized we needed to take more concrete accepts to protect the country. in the aftermath of a supreme court decision the congress enacted the military court act of 2006 calling for an unlawful military combatant, one who received material support from al qaeda. the difference between the shoe bomber and the incident now are apples and oranges. the person who tried to blow up a plane on christmas could be tried as an enemy combatant. specifically allowed for trying people as unlawful military combatants because they tried -- >> why is this shoe bomber in for life now? >> the shoe bomber was, again, he was tried, chris, he was tried for obstructing a flight crew and convicted. we did not have the statutes on the book. >> why is he in for life? >> the law was not on the book
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in 2001 as it was in 2006 because the circumstances have changed because the congress worked in a bipartisan fashion to change the law. >> this is a political attack. it has nothing to do with policy. it has nothing to do with legality. it wasn't the shoe bomber, zacarias moussawi, the blind shaikh. they have all provided intelligence that is actionable. what they are doing now is they see an opening. your boss, your former boss, dick cheney, his daughter liz cheney is out with a statement saying that president obama doesn't care about national security. this is a guy who spent months trying to figure out what to do in afghanistan which is all about confronting islamic extremism. he has had more predator drone terrorist. that is the point at which his
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father gets upset. his father has seen text messages. the former vice president's daughter put out this statement. they must have a house with a huge printing operation. >> she works at a particular foundation. it is not out of the house. >> senior fellowships. >> if you want to take a cheap shot. you said they have a printing press. >> let me tell you something, dick cheney is issuing statements and his family. they are e-mailed out of somewhere and they somehow become journalistic. >> your original comment is they have a printing press out of their house. she works for a living. she is trying to get the word
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out on how do we take steps to make american secure. >> she has a foundation. >> if the republicans have a foundation. the hypocrisy you display. >> president obama has weakened american security by treating terror as a law enforcement matter, refusing to use every tool at his disposal. what does that mean? >> i think, again, i'm speaking for myself not liz cheney. i can't speak for liz cheney. she can speak for herself. i think it is important the president of the united states takes every step possible -- >> we have 30,000 more troops going to afghanistan. >> excuse me. let's take bringing the people, the mastermind between the 9/11 attack to new york city. the new york city police commissioner saying i don't know i have the resources or money to protect the american people. >> how is that not using every resource?
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>> it is answering the question by saying if the politician commissioner in the city of new york says he doesn't have the police officers to protect the american people that makes america more safe. >> mayor bloomberg says fine. you can come up with a statement from a politician commissioner. >> the commissioner of new york city. >> the mayor of new york city. i trump your commissioner with who he works for. >> the hypocrisy. >> this statement is not coming from the cheney house hold. not the printing press that issues statement by statement every hour of the day from the cheney household. this is from virginia fox. on a conservative radio show yesterday. we only have the audio because it was radio. let's listen. >> how can you believe anything the man says anyway? has not kept a single promise to the american people. he's kept promises to his union
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base, to his trial lawyers, yo know, he signed an executive order to close guantanamo, all the promises he kept are the ones that endanger our lives. >> so he's endangering our lives. the president. >> i wouldn't agree with her statement. i agree with a lot of the substance of what she says. it is a little far and politicians on both sides of the aisle, representative grayson comes up with some bizarre statements. i will say president obama is not using all the tools at his disposal to protect the american people. >> let's go back to liz cheney. she said it is time for the president to making defending this nation a top priority as if he is not making -- he has the daily briefings. he figures out what to do in afghanistan, attacking pakistan with predder to drones. do you seriously believe he comes to work each day not thinking about defending the
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country? >> no. i absolutely believe he wants to defend the country. excuse me. the democrats do not view this as a war on terrorism. they look at this as a legalistic matter. alleged act, the suspect. >> you are making a formidable effort to defend the indefensible. here is more, this argument that everybody the republican party does makes the country stronger and everything the democratic party does makes us weaker so maybe someday when we get hit again they will be able to jump up and say we were right, you were wrong. i know how this game is play. this is republican senate candidate jane norton. it is the same anthem. >> and what i believe is happening, steve, is the fact that the rights of terrorists
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are more important in this administration than the lives of american citizens. we are seeing it in the criminal field. we are seeing it in the health care field. we are seeing it in almost every area that we are looking at. >> what do you make of that? the lives of americans aren't as important. there is a health care bill. >> she is saying the rights of terrorists are more important than the health care bill? >> you are trying to pin one -- >> i'm asking you -- >> i'm trying to answer your question. >> what is that? >> this president said i want to close guantanamo without thinking through the ramifications.
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i'm going to bring enemy combatants to the united states. these are serious issues. you can laugh about it but it does make this country less safe. >> the idea you are on the right wing of a political argument that makes you more patriotic is insane. >> i didn't say that. it has nothing to do with being partisan. >> there is a good argument that gitmo and all it represents worldwide caused more people to sign up for al qaeda and give up their lives in suicide attacks on americans because they hate america. >> they see us as the evil one because they already issued fatwas. that is not why -- >> it is a legitimate argument. david corn, ron christy. the idea of the moral superiority on the right wing is
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absurd after what happened in the last administration. the back story mind this iconic image. one of my favorite postal stamps. it is the most sought after archival picture. you are watching "hardball" only on msnbc. back to "hardball." my inner-workings a work of art. a digestive tract that should be bronzed. and an immune system so stunning... [ low growl ] my vet thinks i'm the eighth wonder of the world. [ female announcer ] introducing iams with prebiotics. prebiotics work inside, clinically proven to promote strong defenses. healthy inside... healthy outside. [ dog ] oh hi girls, nice day, huh? i am an iams dog. [ female announcer ] learn more about prebiotics at iams.com.
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back to "hardball." time for the "sideshow." new york congressman peter king offered the president some advice. here he is. >> name one specific recommendation the president could implement right now to fix this? >> i think one main thing would be to use the word terrorism
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more often. >> that will do it. there is an enemy plotting hour by hour i think it is fair to say, to kill us, drag the world into a horror when the billion islamic people has to choose sides, whole parts of the world have to choose between modernity and extremism. constantly braying against terrorism is not going to change that. it could play into the hands of them. saying the word terrorism is not the solution. the year, 1970, president nixon and elvis presley in the oval office. the king of rock 'n' roll hoped to be appointed a federal agent for the bureau of narcotics. it didn't happen. the national archives is putting together an event tonight commemorating the bizarre meeting of minds, the nixon/elvis photo opportunity beats out the declaration of independence and the u.s. constitution as the most requested image from the national archives.
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up next, new information about that al qaeda double agent over in afghanistan and the seven cia employees he killed. what it means for our intelligence efforts against al qaeda. if you choose a sauce based only on the label, you might be missing something. with prego, it's all about the sauce. in a blind taste test, more people preferred prego over bertolli. the sweet and savory taste of prego. it's in there.
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hi, everyone. here's what is happening. u.s. intelligence officials learned of potential security concerns about the attempted inflight bombing suspect while he was in the air and reached detroit. they intended to put him through additional screenings once his flight landed in the u.s. the federal grand jury indicted that suspect on six charges including attempted use
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of a weapon of mass destruction. the deep freeze continues in many parts of the nation tonight. at least six deaths are now blamed on the bitterly cold temperatures. forecasters are calling for snow and ice as far as louisiana. the nba suspended gilbert arenas after he brought four guns into the team's locker room on christmas eve. david stern says he warrants a substantial suspension and "perhaps worse." now back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." is our intelligence system failing? a nigerian whose own father warned the cia and the u.s. embassy about him was able to purchase a plane ticket with cash, check no bags, board a flight with explosives and a syringe sewn in his underwear and an al qaeda double agent in afghanistan was able to lure
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seven experienced cia officers to their deaths in afghanistan. jordan's use of this informant is a storyline in "body of lies" where the head of jordanian intelligence flips a low level al qaeda operative to spy for him. >> continue your life with your brothers in al qaeda. we will advise a way to talk. >> come. come. up. up. go. what is the most familiar with, cia officials meet with what they think would be someone they
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think is working for them. that person blows himself up and then they are all killed. >> following on the clip we watched from "body of lies" the agent they were meeting in khost, in eastern afghanistan was a jordanian agent, a radical muslim doctor, part of this jihadi underground. the jordanians thought they turned him so he was a double agent and sent him into the tribal areas of pakistan thinking he might be able to find the location of al zawahri, a big target for the u.s.
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we were so excited about this, almost panting about this that this target could be delivered to us. it turns out this double agent was a triple agent. something you rarely see in the intelligence world, who had been at some point flipped back by al qaeda. so when he entered that space in khost, he was wearing a suicide vest. we had too many people there. we should have never met wi him in the perimeter of a base and he killed seven of our cia officers and one jordanian who was his handler. it is as big of a screw up as i can remember in the intelligence world. the starting point is we are so hungry about information about this adversary in a sense we are easy targets for clever
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operators and al qaeda are clever operators. >> you are an expert on this effort to try to catch the bad guys. in your mind's eye, how big is al qaeda? >> people talk -- >> are there hundreds? thousands? >> no. there are not thousands. a hundred to two hundred people in the tribal areas of pakistan, al qaeda central, the old al qaeda trained in afghanistan in the safe havens until we came in after september 11. our predator attacks have made life difficult for them. what this attack on our cia officers in khost shows as difficult as life may be, they are capable of planning smart attacks, taking people and turning them back against us. this is a sophisticated operation. that is a warning sign. >> how sophisticated was the effort with the nigerian? how tough was that to pull off? and get as far as they did, he was over detroit. >> he was trained. there are a series of processes. the radicalization is first. he becomes more militant and outspoken.
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he goes to yemen. he meets other people and moves into a new phase where he is getting actual training as a terrorist. that is the point at which his father gets upset. his father has seen text messages. it is amazing to think about it, his father a distinguished gentleman in nigeria goes to the cia station in nigeria and tells a cia officer i'm worried my son is a dangerous radical. he gave them that explicit a warning. meanwhile this young man is getting his ticket with cash, traveling with no baggage, with explosives sewn in his underwear -- >> why would the station chief a courageous public servant not act on that? why would a spy in nigeria say, wow, i know something that could save my country. >> he did act. >> huh? >> he did act on it. >> what did he do?
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>> it is important the viewers understand what the problem is. he sent a message to the counterterrorism center in washington that the cia has that was sent to the national center for counterterrorism which is a separate unit. so he did the right thing bureaucratically. what we have to realize is -- we talk about connecting the dots. there are too many dots for anybody to see them all. >> how many have top father banker saying my son has been radicalized. look out. he is headed to yemen. he is trouble. how many cases are like that that can't be checked out? >> the estimates my sources gave me, there is a one of these visa viper warnings from every embassy around the world every day. 180 embassies, 180 requests for special scrutiny every day coming in. we don't have enough people. we don't have the systems. we have created a system that
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everybody is going to send in everything that is possibly a problem so you don't see this. >> your guess, how many people are there like this like this guy from nigeria coming at us? >> i couldn't give you a guess except to say it is more than zero. >> as we speak they are trying to get to us? >> this is a smart adversary. >> al qaeda in afghanistan. afghanistan in yemen. how many al qaeda organizations are there like this coming at us? >> half dozen major ones. it is a very diffuse organization. their command and control is the internet. they are as spread out and diffuse as the internet. >> are our spy agencies as smart as them? >> our spy agencies are smart. the problem is we have too much bureaucracy. we need a more elite approach, smarter people, better targeting, that is my own feeling. >> should we bring the ivy league types back to run the cia? >> we should bring really smart
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people from all over. we have smart new york cops. we need the very best people. >> we need hunch. thank you david ignatius. author of "body of lies." with three big names not running for re-election, dodd, dorgan and ritter, what does it say about president obama's standing that the democrats are on the run. not running, running away. [ male announcer ] a bad cold hits your whole body. alka-seltzer plus liquid gels rush relief everywhere you need it. it's the most complete relief you can get in a liquid gel, so you feel better, fast. alka-seltzer plus liquid gels.
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retirements are bringing the spotlight on. going to hold that senate seat. dorgan is a stomach punch, chris. because dorgan is sitting there in sort of that upper midwest plains, one of those red states, but not a ruby red state, that is probably the only democrat that can hold. he was, you know, probably on the fence and does he send a message? the fear i think these guys have and others on capitol hill, does he send a message to other wavering incumbents that, hey, dorgan is a guy that's survived touch elections before. he's decided he doesn't have the
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stomach for it this time, maybe i don't either. >> gene, these guys have hunches, friends back home and they can tell which way the wind is blowing. >> they can. and i think chuck is right, you have to look at each decision individually. objectively, you'd have to say that connecticut looks better for the democratic party with blumenthal than it would with dodd. >> the attorney general is the most popular guy in the state. >> he's very popular. >> he's clean. >> and dodd was in a whole world of trouble up there, as he acknowledged in his speech. but chuck is right. dorgan is a stomach punch and is a problem. i don't know how the democrats hold that seat. >> look at these numbers, guys, if you know nothing about politics but these numbers right now. right track, wrong track right now, 33% according to our poll think this country is headed in the right direction. in attitudes towards the two political parties, democrats, 35%, just over a third like the democrats. republicans, worse off, 28% like them, the brand name republican,
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43% don't like them. it seems to me, chuck, this is a tough time. i opened the show by saying, it's a brutal country -- no country for old men. if you're thinking about retirement, this isn't a bad time to do it. hit the sheets, enjoy life, go get a lobbying shop, make ten times as much money and don't put up with the hell you're facing this november. >> you hit the nail on the head in a guy like dorgan. i talked to somebody who's known him for years who says, look, he's in that last stage of life. if he ran and won, by the end of his next term, he'd be in his mid-70s. if he retires now, he feels like he's got one more act in him, whatever it is he wants to do. could be to make money, could be to go find a job in the obama administration. you don't know. so you're right, all of a sudden you throw in the political environment, and i'm sorry, i know that dorgan wants to say this is 90% a personal decision,
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maybe only 10% about politics, but if he thought he could win another term rather easily, you do wonder. the same with ritter and some of these other guys. but you quickly point out with, the conundrum of this cycle, the reason why nobody is ready to say this is another '94, as unpopular as the democrats look right now to some, so are the republicans. what is this going to mean to this electorate come november? >> don't be an incumbent. we'll be right back with chuck todd and eugene robinson for more of this question, what are these retirements are going to look like to people that are still there? ins ion, he'll know that pepto's about to kick in. honey, do you feel... the instacool sensation -- yes, mom. thank you, mrs. wagner. [ male announcer ] new pepto-bismol chewables with instacool. the meeting went great! they loved the presentation! judy, great job on the printing! i'm amanda. tom. james. nice job on the brochures and letterhead. louis, keep up the good work with our shipments. it's -- it's peter. great job, everybody! that's a closet. you know what, guys?
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we're back with chuck todd and eugene robinson. the impact on president barack obama. you're at the white house, chuck, covering it. you talked about the concussion they felt today from dorgan and from dodd quitting. do they sense more is co
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